Why is the Middle East and North Africa in turmoil?
Despotism is one obvious cause; the economy is the other part of the answer. Yet Libya will grow by 6.2 per cent this year, enjoy inflation at 3.5 per cent and have a 20 per cent (of GDP trade surplus), all superior to the UK. The other economies are growing rapidly too; Bahrain by 4.5 per cent; Morocco by 4.3 per cent, Tunisia by 4.8; Egypt will manage 5.5 per cent. In Britain we will struggle to 2 per cent. Such figures show the potential of the region.
The problem is that such growth is unable to keep pace with the aspirations of a rapidly expanding, young population, and everyone – from the bosses at the IMF to the average unemployed graduate lobbing rocks in Rabat – knows it. These nations could do so much better. With abundant labour, situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, and from a low cost base they could export and grow as fast as China or Indonesia. Or, more to the point, Turkey, the country that shows what can be achieved. Imagine an Eu with a free, dynamic Libya a key member. A dream…Tagged in: finance, inflation, middle east, north africa
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